Security cooperation director lauds USASAC initiatives

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Defense Security Cooperation Agency director Vice Adm. Joe Rixey addressed the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command workforce during a March 6 town hall meeting. His message for USASAC: "You are doing now exactly what I want to do for all."

Rixey was referring to security cooperation and Foreign Military Sales, and how future success depends largely on how well the Army, Navy and Air Force meet international partner expectations in terms of quality, cost, speed and transparency.

DSCA is the central agency that synchronizes global security cooperation programs, funding and efforts across the defense and state departments, Joint Staff, combatant commands, the services and U.S. industry. It is also responsible for the effective policy, processes, training and financial management necessary to execute security cooperation with the Department of Defense.

During his visit, Rixey expressed admiration for how USASAC manages its FMS cases, its approach to operational training and the resulting effect on performance. Rixey explained that DSCA is developing a 2015-20 strategic plan, and using multiple strategy teams to look at new ways to do business and make improvements.

"Setting metrics, the right metrics, and going after them," Rixey said. He noted that efforts like USASAC's Common Operating Picture, or COP, and "dashboards" that are being used to track priorities and other FMS case data, are exactly the kinds of ideas he is looking for to incorporate in the DSCA strategic plan. 

Leslie Davis, a country program manager in USASAC's CENTCOM Regional Operations Directorate, demonstrated the COP CPM dashboard and another collaborative tool called "FMS Casebook," which will allow Army Security Assistance Enterprise members to manage the FMS case life cycle processes, to Rixey. 

"I told him that Casebook is moving the Army FMS from an email-based work environment to a 
'social business' environment," Davis said. "He was extremely impressed with the use of the social media concept."

Rixey also discussed how the security cooperation environment is changing, but emphasized that the mission of building relationships with foreign partners remains crucial to U.S. security interests and developing partner country capabilities for both self-defense and multinational operations.

He also provided examples of the impact of FMS as a key input to the DoD procurement system and to U.S. industry and jobs. He cited the Patriot as one of the systems that has benefited procurement.

"The $400 million in international sales applied to the improvement of the Patriot allowed the Army to procure the same upgrades at no cost to taxpayers," he said.

Rixey closed the town hall with praise for initiatives USASAC employees are implementing every day.

"You guys are going to have a prominent role of helping me shape how we are going forward based on what I've seen today when your leadership took me around and showed me the way you execute, the methods, the tools, the attitude -- all of those I've got to figure out how to spread that throughout the rest of the security cooperation organization."

A link to the article is available here.